Safety Performance of Animal Confinement Floors: Slip, Trip, and Fall Injuries in Finland

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Kaustell, Kim O.;
  • Mattila, Tiina E. A.;
  • Rautiainen, Risto H.


Slip, trip, and fall (STF) injuries are common in agriculture. The aims of this study were to characterize STF injuries and to identify floor-related safety problems that can be reduced or eliminated through building design. Our material consisted of Finnish agricultural injury claim records for the period 1992-2002. The material included 6,414 slip, trip, and fall injuries that occurred in dairy, beef, and swine production and were caused by floor structures. We examined coded information and injury descriptions to identify causes and contributing factors. The performance approach (PA) was used as a framework for discussing findings and their application to building design. PA provides a logic model for building design that considers the needs of workers, animals, and production processes. Nearly half (42%) of agricultural injuries occurred in dairy, beef, and swine production work. Fourteen percent of these injuries were slips, trips, and falls (STF) related to floor structures. More than 450 work years were lost due to disability resulting from these injuries. Many STF injuries occurred in milking (N = 1135), moving feeds (N = 962), and animal transport and care (N = 880). More than half (59%) of STF injuries occurred while carrying or moving a load. STF injury causes included floors, door sills, gutters, curbs, steps, ramps, grates, and contaminants like water, ice, snow, manure, detergent, forage, and hay. Men had a lower STF injury risk compared to women (RR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.61-0.67). The magnitude and nature of STF injuries suggest that there is a need for improving the safety performance of floors and related structures. Key areas include slip-resistant floorings, effective contamination control, macro structures (elevations, entrances, access ways), and logistics for materials handling and storage spaces.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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